Raven Industries Sued, Plaintiffs Allege Age Discrimination

Raven Industries Inc., an agricultural supply company, received a lawsuit on Thursday filed by a man who alleged he was fired from his position at the company because of his age and that his job responsibilities were passed on to younger employees with less experience. 

The 60-year old man, Bradley Parker, said he was hired by Raven Industries in 2007 as a Supply Chain Manager, specifically in the Electronic System Division.  He reported that he performed well in his position and did not receive any performance reviews where he was rated below average. He reached the top of the pay scale and continued to receive at least one raise after that point. 

Parker pointed out that he was able to save the company $900 for each balloon system built, saving the company about $600,000 each year. He also noted that he trained six “young, inexperienced buyers” who became good team members in the company. The plaintiff also reported that he was promoted to Supply Chain Specialist in 2012 due to his performance. 

Despite this, Parker said that he was fired in 2020 after working with the company for 13 years and his duties were passed to a younger employee with less experience. The plaintiff also claimed that this employee was less qualified for the job. 

Parker alleged, in addition to being fired, that he was treated differently than other employees by his direct supervisor and received the blame when items ordered by other younger employees were incorrect. He claimed that although he was fired for “poor performance” that his performance had not deteriorated. 

The plaintiff reported that in May 2020, about four months after he was fired, he filed an age discrimination charge with the South Dakota Division of Human Rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and received a notice that he had a right to sue in May 2021. Because of this, the plaintiff claimed that the prerequisites under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act for filing the lawsuit were met. 

Parker asked the court for damages and an award of past and future wages lost, including benefits, or the opportunity to be reinstated to his former position. The plaintiff is represented by Lynn, Jackson Shultz & Lebrun P.C